Saturday, June 19, 2004

STAGE: Thoroughly Modern Millie

We saw Thoroughly Modern Millie this evening at the Ahmanson. A thoroughly delightful musical in the classic song-and-dance Broadway tradition, I left humming tunes and fighting the temptation to tap-dance back to the parking lot. Darcie Roberts is great as the "modern" girl from Kansas, bound and determined to move to New York, find a job and marry her rich boss. The show is rich with great production numbers, (particularly the office routines with the stenog girls rolling around on their desks), and great comic songs (especially the clever routines with Mrs. Meers and her Chinese co-horts). Dick Scanlan has done a very clever job of adapting the Robert Morris' original Chinese slavery-kidnapping subplot into something humorous without being degrading. Diana Kaarina plays Mrs. Meers as a hysterical cross between Leona Helmsley, a mobster, and a frustrated Broadway chorus girl. Andrew Pang and Darren Lee crooning "Mammy" in Chinese with supertitles is laugh-out-loud funny.